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Fearless Food: Delicious Alternatives to the Big-8 Allergens

Baby chef. Source: 1035352 via Pixabay

Fearless Food: Allergy-Free Recipes for Kids puts “off-limits” foods “back on the menu” in a vibrant and splashy collection of recipes that allow kids with food allergies to reclaim forbidden culinary experiences. Author Katrina Jorgensen helps readers “take control in the kitchen” by avoiding the Big-8 food allergens through clever recommendations like swapping wheat for the “zucchini zoodle” and cooking egg-free potato pancakes for “brinner.” Colorful recipes sketched in personality-filled fonts and whimsical photos make this easy read’s visuals appear to emerge from the bright perspective of a child – a feat achieved by an exclusive batch of adults.

When I was in elementary school, allergy-ridden children were an afterthought. On PB&J Uncrustables day, the cafeteria served us a slab of American cheese squished between two slices of untoasted white bread. It was a nearly inedible foreshadowing of a long life spent asking lukewarm baristas to verify the ingredients of the cookie in the window, praying silently for an allergen-free bake. After a lifetime of Reese’s deprivation, biting into Jorgensen’s sunflower butter cups was a series of paradoxes: a sweet but salty, nut-flavored yet nut-free glimpse into a joy of everyday living that 99% of Americans take for granted.

As a graduate of the Parisian Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Katrina Jorgensen pens fun cookbooks for young chefs. Fearless Food doubles as a cookbook and educational tool from its introduction through its final recipe, pausing to break down the biological origins of food allergies and weaving additional substitutions into ingredient lists. Occasionally, Jorgensen’s instructions require a little imagination from her audience, coming off as somewhat ambiguous for the starter chef. Regardless, I would recommend this quick read to any kid cook or busy college student with food allergies.

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